Return to Level1Techs.com

Need help with possible bugged house and how to detect

Anyone have any idea about bug detectors? What are good? What are bad? I am just helping someone that is not sure about being bugged, because their former partner was in the security industry but also was super controlling of the person and was abusive toward the person I am helping.

I am curious about this because I wouldn’t put it past the person that split. The person in question for months said he was going to leave, but then at some point got arrested due to domestic violence.

This is what I have found in terms of a RF Detector that has decent ratings.

I did not mention. I changed the routers for ones I bought and changed the modem for one that I had. So the modem she had as in the way of setup. he had remote access to the modem because it was a modem/router combo. So my modem and my routers. I also clean installed windows and suggested factory resetting her phone. He rooted her phone and disable the camera and stuff from outside sources “spying” on her.

It might be more paranoia, but I wouldn’t put it past this person. He had remote access to her computer and had deleted emails between her and other people.

I also had her setup two factor on her personal email and work emails. Also, I have disabled her wifi. She is just quite worried, because for years he put her through hell.

2 Likes

This personally sounds like he may have put tracking software on the phone. The excuse of disabling the camera just seems bazaar, are they also paranoid?

You don’t need to do this, just ensure that it is setup with a strong password, making their life difficult will only make them feel like there’s a constant threat.

This is the best thing you can do, have her change all her passwords, use a password manager with a strong master password that way all her accounts will have unique passwords. 2FA is a very good idea, especially for their email account.

As for bugs… If you think this might be the case, the easiest thing to do is to clean the place out, probably a good idea anyway, but if there were any you’d probably find them.

But it does seem like paranoia territory. The bugs if any exist are going to be software on their phone and computers, or web cams, etc. Bugs run out of power, they’d need access to the house to maintain them. If they were this bad, i imagine shed be hearing from him frequently as hed be that obsessed. I assume there’s a restraining order as well which is good.

In any case for actual detectors i cant help. But theres lots of better things you can do, you’ve done some of them. Be careful though not to put them in a place of perpetual fear by going overboard with your own paranoia.

2 Likes

If this hasn’t happened make sure you change the locks.

2 Likes

When I say I disabled her wifi. I should have been more clear. It is her desktops wifi. I put her on the lan. Using ethernet.

He became paranoid towards the end of their relationship. When ever she was like fifteen minutes late or for any reason would text something like this:
She is late teaching. He just starts questioning, where are you, why are you late who are you with. I believe he thought she was cheating on him.So yes he is paranoid in general. He also does drugs regularly. She is paranoid/anxious more recently because things ended poorly between them. As I said he is a security expert for corporations and stuff. So he would have the expertise to bug her.

I tried explaining this to her. So it is more anxiety than paranoia though. She fears him spying on her because she was abused. I guess it is not out of the realm of possibility that because he was the only person she knew that she trusted with her phone and computer setup and always went to him before myself or anyone else for tech support. She thinks he might be out to get her or something. Which I know he was during the relationship. The few times I met him he was controlling of her. Didn’t let her speak hardly ever and stuff like that.

I changed the locks like a month ago.

1 Like

I’m hoping this answer is not necroing this post but I think I have a tip for you.
That “bug detector” you posted is just a glorified RF analyzer so I’d suggest you to get one of those to scan the place and make sure there are no unwanted ears in that house.

@Eden yeah, bugs can run out of battery if they’re battery powered. I’ve seen phone chargers and even cables with sim cards that auto answer calls and let you ear everything where they’re plugged in. Those things are virtually impossible to discover with traditional “anti spy detector” because they’re just like a mobile phone.

Going back to my suggestion: get an RF analyzer and check dodgy phone chargers that might be around the house with a quick visual inspection. If they have what looks like a microphone hole or look fishy just change it around.

This is more of a curiosity thing, but do you have any analyzers you’d recommend, or criteria you’d use to buy a decent one?

As for the rest of this thread, I highly recommend reading the The Psychopath Code

They guy may not necessarily be a true psychopath, but the end result of his behavior and deleterious effect on others in practice make him similar to deal with. Isolation strategy in a relationship are a pretty clear litmus test that something is very wrong and things are only ever going to get worse.

1 Like

One system isn’t enough, as @MetalizeYourBrain pointed out it could be using mobile signal, or other methods like newer low power zig bee protocols etc.

The problem as well one sweep isn’t enough, big won’t be on all the time, could be called into, never on until activated or manually controlled.

But at that point honesty here’s not what place to ask if you think that’s going on.

Would recommend checking the hardware inside and around the computer, especially the keyboard, it’s easy to install a hardware keylogger that calls home every once in a while.
if it’s not clear i mean inside the keyboard, pull the back off of it.

On top of that I would recommend checking outlets, many non-battery powered bugs have been installed close to the outlet to avoid damaging the walls, ceiling, etc.
Of course if you do, make sure to cut the breaker to that plug, don’t want you getting zapped.

My suggestion regarding RF analyzer is to buy the ones used by radio-amateurs. They come in a small alluminum box and can be used to listen to RF frequencies aswell. Also to optimize how it works it should be use in conjuction with the correct antenna for the range of frequency.

I won’t comment on other stuff, as i have no experience with those things.
A phone that was rooted can never, ever be trusted again. If you didn’t do it yourself, there is no way of knowing it is clean. With root and a custom recovery you can easily install persitent stuff on the phone that won’t be removed by factory resetting.
Your best bet would be flashing a fresh recovery via fastboot, wiping every single partition clean with fastboot beforehand and putting a clean rom over it. And even then you can’t be 100% sure.
Normally, i think wiping all partitions should be enough, but since you are in a position where we are talking about bugging a home you don’t own and suspecting the person to access accounts and other stuff, I’d personally get rid of the phone. Get a cheap replacement. Decent Android phones can be had for around 100 bucks. Better safe than sorry.

1 Like

I’d qualify that with “unless you developed the exploit yourself”. You root the device with a third party exploit, all bets are off - even if you’re the one doing it.

1 Like